Thursday, 10 May 2012

AWL Stalinism, Once More - Part 5

AWL & Popular Frontism

The Popular Front
The cross class politics of Stalinism, which the AWL perpetrate with these ideas about “Public Ownership”, and which reliance upon the intervention of the Capitalist State represents, is summed up in the Popular Front. Calls for the workers to throw in their lot with the Capitalist State, as the AWL advocate here, is just one version of that Popular Front. The Popular Front is a central part of the Stalinist politics of the AWL.

As a petit-bourgeois, studentist organisation it was not surprising that the AWL buckled in response to the Thatcherite Reaction, which set in after the Long Wave Boom ended, and which saw the start of a long period of retrenchment by the working-class. About 25 years ago that was marked by their collapse into what Trotsky called the Third Camp of the Petit-Bourgeoisie. In Their Morals And Ours, Trotsky rightly says,

“DURING AN EPOCH OF triumphant reaction, Messrs. democrats, social-democrats, anarchists, and other representatives of the “left” camp begin to exude double their usual amount of moral effluvia, similar to persons who perspire doubly in fear. Paraphrasing the Ten Commandments or the Sermon on the Mount, these moralists address themselves not so much to triumphant reaction as to those revolutionists suffering under its persecution, who with their “excesses” and “amoral” principles “provoke” reaction and give it moral justification. Moreover they prescribe a simple but certain means of avoiding reaction: it is necessary only to strive and morally to regenerate oneself. Free samples of moral perfection for those desirous are furnished by all the interested editorial offices.

The class basis of this false and pompous sermon is the intellectual petty bourgeoisie. The political basis – their impotence and confusion in the face of approaching reaction. Psychological basis – their effort at overcoming the feeling of their own inferiority through masquerading in the beard of a prophet.”

That is a concise description of the course followed by the Moralists of the AWL. Their collapse into Third Campism marked an abandonment of Marxism in favour of an essentially Kantian Moralism. It meant seeing the world no longer divided into classes – hence their talk above about “Public Ownership” as opposed to Workers Ownership – but as being divided into two contending camps of Good and Evil. And, for the AWL, the main source of "Good" was now to be seen not as the working-class, in whose agency they had now lost faith, but in the bourgeois democratic state, including its international manifestation – Democratic Imperialism. It is not just to that bourgeois-democratic state, that the AWL now ask workers to place their faith, in the form of nation-alisation, but to fight their battles in a range of arenas. In other words, the workers are asked to participate in a Popular Front with the bourgeois-democratic state against its enemies in the “Evil” Camp, who are then defined as all the enemies of that bourgeois-democratic state. It is lesser-evilism, or the notion that “My Enemy's Enemy Is My Friend.”

The AWL's fellow Third Campists of the SWP applied the same method, the difference being that the SWP see “Imperialism” as being the “Evil” camp, and, therefore, see all those opposed to it including all sorts of fascists, and other reactionaries as in the “Good” camp. The SWP, in fact, provide a ready picture of the trajectory and destination of the AWL.

They are all Hezbollah Now!!!
The consequence is that the AWL, at an international level work on the basis of a Popular Front with “Democratic Imperialism”. Ironically, that means they also end up as allies of fascists themselves as happened in Libya, where they are in turn the allies of the clerical-fascist allies of Imperialism. It is what leads them to deny the reality of the atrocities committed by those forces in Libya, as I set out in my blog The Moral Cripples Of The AWL. It was also the case in Kosovo where the Popular Front with Imperialism against Serbia, placed them in the position of being allies with the fascists of the KLA. Just as the AWL apologise for the actions of the clerical-fascists today in Libya, so too they say nothing of the atrocities committed by the Kosovan Albanians against the Serbian Albanians, and the tensions and possibilities for war this creates in the area, and the division it engenders amongst Balkan workers. (See: Kosovo & The Myth Of Liberal Interventionism. The same was true of the AWL's Popular Front with Imperialism in Iraq, whereby they apologised for the clerical-fascism of the Shia politicians such as Sistani, because they were seen as the allies of Imperialism. In Tibet, the AWL's Popular Front with Imperialism puts them in alliance with all those forces allied to Imperialism against China, forces which are dominated by Clericalism and Landlordism. The extent to which the AWL are prepared to ally themselves with even such feudalists was shown in relation again to Libya, where they wrote of the role of the Qatari Monarchy in Libya as being now one of the ways in which the Bourgeois Revolution would take place!

No comments: